3/4/16: Change Your First Reaction
What’s your first reaction when a problem arises? Some of us call somebody – a friend, the pastor, our mother – to talk things through, bounce off ideas, or know someone is on our side. Others turn inward to isolate themselves from the world until the pain or the issue eases up a bit. Some lash out, immediately retorting back whatever that first feeling pulls up from within. Or maybe you handle the dilemma by eating, cursing, shopping, drinking, going to a movie, or taking a long drive. While all of these are mechanisms to let off steam, few if any (especially not the cursing, drinking, and lashing out) solve the problem.
A man we hear about in Matthew chapter 17 faced a problem with his child. He approached Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him” Matthew 17:15 (NKJ). After chastising the disciples for their unbelief, Jesus instructed the man saying, “Bring him here to Me” (verse 17b) and he rebuked the demon so that the child was cured. Jesus went on to say that this type would come out only by prayer and fasting (verse 21).
It hit me that this man’s first reaction was to take his son to the disciples rather than to Jesus. All through the Gospels, we read of the flocking multitudes taking their sick to Jesus, but this guy took his son to the disciples first. We do know that the disciples healed people and cast out demons to their own surprise when Jesus sent them out to do so (see Luke 10:17), and that’s the point. While Jesus was with them, the focus was on Him, not on them. The disciples could do nothing without directly being sent by Jesus to do so, and whatever miraculous things they did always turned the attention back to Jesus, the source of the miraculous.
Our first reaction in any difficulty, crisis, or predicament needs to be to look to Jesus. He personally invites us to do just that. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJ).
I personally invite you to try it the next time you face a problem. You can always go back to your other reactions if turning to Jesus first doesn’t work. What have you got to lose? But I’m confident you’ll find that taking your burdens to the Lord will be the best decision you ever could have made.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: